Out Beyond Words

A member of the Amazonian tribe the Kuhama Kushameria, was paddling some white visitors down the river.  He gently brought the boat to a stop.  “The fish are singing”, he said.  “Can you hear them?”  No they couldn’t. They gave each other a look as if to say, “Is this guy alright?”

David Gulpilil was a well-known Australian actor and dancer.  Of Aboriginal descent, he was brought up learning all the skills and traditions of his people.  He starred in the film, The Rabbit Fence.  It tells the true story of three children taken from their family to a children’s home hundreds of miles away.  They decide to escape and walk the hundreds of miles back home, following the Rabbit Fence.

David plays the part of the tracker following the children to recapture them.  At one point in the shooting of the film the director tells him that he now loses the children.  David’s response is that that would not happen.  He would never lose them.  He would be able to track them wherever they went in Australia.  Like the tracker in the real life story, he says he has lost them and allows the children to escape.

Science has discovered that fish do “sing”, sending messages to each other at a frequency human beings can’t immediately hear.  Most of us are unlikely to develop our listening so that we can hear them, or the closeness to the earth needed to develop the skills of a tracker.  Nevertheless, through looking and listening more closely, we could become more sympathetic stewards of God’s creation.

Chris Dawson

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